Creatures of Habit and Agents of Change

We are creatures of habit. This course is all about change, changing our habits and providing some knowledge to help others change. Text Technologies: The changing spaces of reading and writing – I think I now know what the title of this course really means. It provides a background on the changes around text and technology in the past, to help give us a window on how to deal with text, technology and other changes now and into the future.

We saw the invention of literacy and how it created change, it also created resistance. Change happened from the scroll to the book, the printing press created change. The invention of photography created change, innovation and resistance. These changes all came very slowly, however the innovations that came from each change created new products and process that created benefits that helped people consume and digest the changes faster.

Now we are dealing with accelerated changes due to computer technology. I used to marvel at the changes that my Mother-in-Law saw in her lifetime: 1916-2004 but I also witnessed how she struggled with the volume of accelerating changes that occurred in her last 30 years of life. My mother in-law and my parents kept up until probably their 50’s Now, I think about my own life and perhaps someday my kids will marvel at the changes that I lived through. I am struggling to keep up, started losing my edge in my 40’s, but courses like this and programs like MET help – I feel a resurgence. I observe my own kids habits and their uses of technology; they are in their early twenties. Just 10 years ago these were the kids that used to roll their eyes at how old fashioned their parents were getting. Now I see them starting to struggle in their 20’s, they are not keeping pace anymore; they are comfortable with the technologies that they grew up with. Their technologies are becoming dated: Walkman to CD to DVD to downloads, landline to cordless to cell phone to smart phone – where is this going at such a dizzying pace? Perhaps the new generation championed by Steph’s new baby boy Sol Phoenix will take this change faster and further then we can imagine today.

Can education keep up with this pace? Think of the technology changes in your life over the last 10 years or even 5 years. Jasmeet created a discussion called the “Untrained Professional” under “Making Connections” – fascinating, changes in education measured in tens of years. Teresa mentions 20-40 years. I only thought slow change happened in post-secondary education. It appears the answer to this question is here and it is; no, education is not keeping up. I don’t know what this means …….

I witness the push back from faculty when change is introduced: move from the sage on the stage, to the guide on the side, innovate, make class time activity based, not lecture focused, use technology to help this happen. We provide support, in terms of faculty development opportunities, conferences, but we get frustrated when this does not happen over a four year period, yikes. Perhaps we as change agents in K-12, post-secondary, and private education can help find a way to encourage and guide our colleagues through change, based on the knowledge and experiences that we have collaboratively and collectively gained from this course.

Good luck everyone as you move through the MET program and your careers with new insights and ideas.


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